The San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade--also known as the largest LGBT gathering in the country (and the second-largest in the world, after Sydney’s)--rocks our city on June 29-30, 2013, the last full weekend in June. Here is an overview of what to expect, including transportation information. For pride-themed marches, concerts, parties, films, and other activities leading up to and during the same weekend, check our guide to related LGBT events.
SF PRIDE 2013: What & Why
With more than 200 gay pride parade groups and floats, hundreds of vendors and community organizations, and activities for everyone from gay families to hip-hoppers, SF Pride is two days of revelry. This year’s theme is "Embrace, Encourage, Empower.”
SF Pride commemorates the June 1969 Stonewall riots, in which gays protested a routine police raid of the Stonewall Inn, a mostly gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village. The riots jump-started the gay rights movement, and in 1970, gatherings to mark their first anniversary were held in New York and San Francisco.
SF PRIDE CELEBRATION
June 29, at 12-6 pm, & June 30, at 11 am-6:30 pm
Civic Center, San Francisco
Requested donation $5, but no one turned away for lack of funds
The SF Pride Celebration, on Saturday and Sunday afternoons at and around Civic Center Plaza, has entertainment on multiple stages, community groups, exhibitors, merchants and food. The main stage, on Polk St. in front of City Hall, showcases several DJs on Saturday. On Sunday, the bustling line-up includes excerpts from Hedwig and the Angry Inch and appearances by Peaches & Herb (remember “Reunited”?), American Idol star Kimberly Caldwell, twins duo Nina Sky, National Center for Lesbian Rights executive director Kate Kendell, actor Jason Brock, television host Liam Mayclem and other leaders and performers. Don't blink: Each act is only 5-20 minutes long.
Scattered around Civic Center (roughly between Van Ness Ave. and Leavenworth St., and between Market and Turk streets) are nearly two dozen stages and areas designated for various niches or groups within the LGBT community, including women, senior citizens, youths and families, people who are HIV-positive, transgender, sober or deaf, Asian and Pacific Islanders, Latinos, leather lovers and fans of country-Western, hip-hop, indie/alternative, disco/house or underground trance music. This map will help you navigate the scene.
SF PRIDE PARADE
June 30, at 10:30 am-2:30 pm
Starts at Market & Beale streets; ends at Market & 8th streets
The parade kicks off with a literal roar, led by Dykes on Bikes. Politicians, floats, the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, and contingents from companies, government departments, nonprofit organizations, schools, churches and other organizations follow the motorcycles up Market Street to the doorstep of the Pride Celebration.
* SF Pride Parade honorees
The 2013 parade’s lifetime achievement grand marshal is Alvin Baum, an activist in local politics and civil liberties, gay, lesbian and Jewish causes. Besides establishing an endowment fund for Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Baum has served on advisory committees for Horizons Foundation, AIDS Emergency Fund, San Francisco Public Library’s Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center and UCSF’s AIDS Research Institute.
Celebrity grand marshals are Australian hairstylist Tabatha Coffey, host of Bravo's Tabatha Takes Over; fashion designer Mondo Guerra of Project Runway fame; actor and singer Cheyenne Jackson; Glee star Alex Newell; MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts; and Roger Ross Williams, who in 2010 became the first African American to win an Oscar for filmmaking and whose documentary God Loves Uganda premiered at Sundance this year.
* SF Pride Parade Broadcasts
There's nothing like experiencing the color and sounds of the pride parade in person. But if you can't, you can tune in to the June 30 parade remotely:
- Live broadcast: Comcast Hometown Network Channel 104
- Live webcast: SFPrideLive.com, from 10 am on
- Delayed broadcast: KOFY TV20-Cable 13, at 7 pm
Parking is a headache in San Francisco generally, and it'll be a migraine during SF Pride. Spare yourself and take public transit, bike or walk. The SF Pride website lists various transportation options.
Many streets will be closed for the SF Pride Celebration and Parade and related events. Check with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency before you venture out.